ANKARA

The World Bank is providing a €314.5 million ($350 million) loan to Turkey for improving its rail connectivity and logistics, the bank said in a statement late Tuesday. 

The Turkey Rail Logistics Improvement Project aims to reduce transport costs in selected rail freight corridors and to strengthen institutional capacity at the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry to deliver rail freight connectivity and manage rail-enabled logistics centers, said the statement.

The financing will help revitalize the transport and logistics sector and contribute to the sustainability of cargo owners operating supply chains in the project’s target corridors in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it added.

Auguste Kouame, World Bank Country Director for Turkey, stressed that rail accounts for 4% of Turkey’s transported tonnage despite having economic geography and commodity specialization characteristics

“This leaves significant economic value on the table in terms of avoidable logistics costs and environmental externalities,” said Kouame.

Kouame underlined that the investments will help fully realize rail freight’s potential in the country.

“The project is expected to reduce transport costs, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and local pollutants, and increase the share of rail in the freight transport task of the corridors targeted by the project,” said Murad Gurmeric and Luis Blancas, the project’s task team leaders.

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